December 05, 2021 | RabiÊ» II 29, 1443
The Flight of Time
Al-Asr (The Flight of Time) - Chapter 103: Verses 1-3
This brief surah summarizes the essence and outcome of all human activity for all time.
Time goes on, and people live and die, generation after generation, and era after era. People of the same generation may live under similar circumstances and traditions, but their destinies may go in totally different directions, depending on their moral and religious beliefs. The moral quality of human life is far more important, and the truth is no less honourable or illustrious if it is recognized by a minority.
Those who deny the sovereignty and power of God shall end up as fuel of hell in the hereafter, whereas the believers who, despite the odds, persevere in upholding the truth shall be the real and final winners in the ordeal of life.
True believers are few and in some generations of human history may even seem odd, but they are promised great rewards.
This surah became a motto, a pledge of loyalty and brotherhood, among the Companions of the Prophet. It was traditional, according to reports, for Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) Companions to recite this surah together before they shook hands and departed.
To persevere for the sake of the truth could expose one to persecution and hardship, and therefore to uphold the true faith and triumph with it requires persistence, tenacity, and a strong will.
"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad Al-Ghazali, pp. 751, 752
From Issue: 626 [Read original issue]
It is narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings of Allah and Peace be upon him) said: "There aren't any days greater, nor any days in which deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah, the Most High, than these ten days (of Dhul-Hijja). So, increase in them the saying of Tahleel (La Ilaaha illa Allah), and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (al-Hamdu lillah)" [Musnad Imaam Ahmad]
The Types of Deeds in These Ten Days:
1. The performance of Hajj and Umrah, and these are the best of deeds that may be done.
2. Fasting during these days - as many of them as may be easy (for one to fast); especially the Day of Arafah.
3. At-Takbeer (Allah Akbar) and adh-Dhikr (the remembrance of Allah through different words of praise and glorification) in these (ten) days.
4. At-Tawbah (repentance) and abstaining from disobedience and all types of sins. Disobedience is the cause of being far away (from Allah, the Most High) and repulsion, while obedience is the cause of being near (to Allah, Most High) and His love.
5. Doing plenty of voluntary (nafl) righteous deeds of worship like Prayer, Charity, Jihad, reading the Quran, Commanding what is Good and Forbidding what is Evil, and other such deeds.
"Superior Days for Righteous Deeds" - Abdullah Ibn Abdur-Rahman al-Jibreen
From Issue: 1062 [Read original issue]
Silence of Minds
When Muslims speak among themselves, they are inexhaustible in criticism of their co-religionists and, more broadly, of the catastrophic state in which the Ummah finds itself. Complaints and rejections are the rule. The least that can be noticed, from Morocco to Indonesia, is a feeling of bitterness, malaise and deep disenchantment that is shared by a large majority of the people. The affective inventory is negative.
We can certainly understand this, for there is nothing delightful in that which we can observe today. Yet, what is more vexing is the fact that the affect takes precedence over a real, precise, in-depth, critical and uncompromising analysis of the causes of these fractures. The Muslim World, for the one who can see, is still lacking intellectual exactness. Very limited in number are those voices that go to the limits of honest analysis, that refuse to say something and then keep quiet when they see its contrary being applied, that denounce events, governmental policies or silent conspiracies.
We are in a state of emergency. It would be too difficult to emerge from the actual upheaval without making a precise analysis of the causes and responsibilities: from the illiteracy of people to the betrayals of the powers in place whose hypocritical policies one must denounce at the cost of one's life perhaps – but this is the passage obligated by reform. Keeping silent is tantamount to being an accomplice, it is "betraying God, His Prophet and all the Believers," according to the exacting expression of the Prophet (peace be upon him). On the geo-strategic level and at the level of economic policies, some Muslim countries participate and collaborate in an immoral management of the world and are implicated in some of the most dubious dealings and trades. All this must be analysed, rigorously described, stated and then denounced. It should, of course, be denounced in a constructive manner, but also loudly, clearly and intelligibly.
"Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 288, 289
From Issue: 771 [Read original issue]